Policy change over reserved 2nd vaccine dose

| 16/01/2021 | 80 Comments
Cayman News Service
The vaccine arrives on the British Airways flight

(CNS): Public health officials will now be using up all of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines that arrived in the Cayman Islands on 5 January. This is a change of policy, as they previously said they were retaining half of them to deliver a second dose in the middle of next month to those who were vaccinated over this past ten days. This reversal followed confirmation by the UK that it will be sending another 9,750 doses on the British Airways flight due here on 28 January.

This means that next week health professionals will continue delivering a first dose of the vaccine to all of those in the Stage 1 groups. (See the details of those groups here).

Availability of vaccines remains exceedingly constrained worldwide, with huge pressures on health services due to the number of people becoming ill with COVID-19 disease. But now that Cayman is certain of a second delivery with the same number of doses as the first, and possibly a third delivery in February, it can continue what has been a successful rollout of the National Vaccination Plan.

“The vaccines arriving later this month will be used for the second dose for persons who have received their first dose,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee. “We are monitoring continuously the quantities available and will open up the various stages according to our supply.”

Dr Lee thanked all of the Public Health nurses and HSA staff who have pulled together to launch this vaccination campaign. “They have done an amazing job so far, and I know it has involved a great deal of hard work and long days,” he added.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said the uptake of the vaccine has been very positive, with people eager to get protected from the virus. But he said people must wait until their stage and group are opened to come forward so that the most vulnerable people have access to the vaccine first.

“Now that we have opened up vaccinations to all of Stage 1, individuals aged 60 and over, and persons with conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease or a weakened immune system are now eligible for the vaccination,” he explained.

Despite persistent claims that people have been queue-jumping, Dr Williams-Rodriguez said that HSA staff have turned away people who have turned up at facilities who were not in the first groups. At this point, however, officials have not released the number of people in each category that have been vaccinated.

As of Friday evening, 4,435 people had received the vaccine, which is 10% of the target number in the first ten days that government hopes will be vaccinated by the end of March. “Our nurses determine eligibility for those receiving the vaccines and some persons have been turned away and asked that they return during their appropriate stage,” Dr Williams-Rodriguez stated.

“We are keeping some reserves for anyone in Stage 1 who has not been able to access the vaccine during this initial campaign. We have also found that the five dose vials we have been sent often provide for six doses, which is increasing the numbers we are able to reach. This is in line with supplies around the world,” he added.

Meanwhile, despite now requiring a negative test before passengers board any plane bound for Cayman, six travellers from 414 COVID-19 tests carried out Friday were positive for the virus on arrival, according to Friday’s testing figures released by Dr Lee.

The new positive cases were among asymptomatic travellers, who will remain in isolation, along with another 1,434 people, one of the highest numbers since the isolation programme began. There are 44 active cases of the coronavirus among those isolating, six of whom are symptomatic.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Worth noting here in regards to queue jumpers is that there was no instruction given to the crowd at GTH. The line was full of 20 something year olds, construction workers and domestic helpers. Super well orchestrated but no guidance on groupings.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me or do rushed Vaccines seem super safe …. ?

    18 January 2021

    “The “higher-than-usual” number of allergic reactions that prompted California health officials Sunday to pause the use of one batch of Moderna vaccines occurred at a mass vaccination clinic at Petco Park in San Diego, the state confirmed Monday.”

    CNS: Just to stress that this is about a particular batch, not the Moderna vaccine generally.

    30 April 2009


    CNS: People can click on the link if they want but it’s about stuff that happened 43 years ago.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is the Pfizer vaccine the culprit in the elderly deaths in Norway? It’s too soon to say.

    At first it seems that the article is accurately reports the facts…until it says:
    “Vaccines undergo rigorous safety checks before they’re APPROVED for use.”
    What the article skipped to mention that Pfizer vaccine is authorized under the EUA process which is different than an FDA approval.
    Under an EUA, in an emergency, the FDA makes a product available to the public based on the best available evidence, without waiting for all the evidence that would be needed for FDA approval or clearance.

    I doubt, though it is possible, that abc.net.au does not know the difference.

  4. Chris Johnson says:

    Congratulations to the West Bay vaccine clinic. I found the doctors , nurses and helpers excellent. In and out in less than an hour. Great meeting up with Westbayers I had not seem for years. It was quite a social occasion.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone still just show up and get the vaccine? Does anyone know if they started to check to see if you qualify for the Stage 1 group?

  6. Anonymous says:

    9:24 am, very good question.
    Here’s another question, how long is one protected from the Covid virus after getting the second shot, is it 6 months. 2 years. 5 years or 10 years ?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Do you have to be a full equity partner in a law firm to qualify or just a salaried partner?

    • anon says:

      3.15pm Your’e fine if your aunt works for the HSA.

    • Anonymous says:

      Since the work permit of the equity partner just says partner, and the business card of the Caymanian salaried partner just says partner, they cannot tell the difference. Misleading them that people who are not equity partners are in fact equity partners accordingly works just fine, although it is a crime.

  8. Cayman Biting Ants says:

    Only policy change we want to hear is visitors should not be getting vaccinated before those citizens who deserve or are essential because it’s pretty obvious what and exactly who our government have been and will always cater to no matter what. The Irony of this terrible abuse now is that these are the very same individuals who were denying the serious of this virus and highly critical of our lockdown procedures. Wow Alden ! Only your rubbish government would allow these same very ungrateful and very disrespectful persons to get away with this!

  9. Sucka Free Cayman says:

    Foreign nationals coming here and getting the vaccine ahead of essential workers and our elderly and the most vulnerable and our very own Caymanians is a national disgrace that we now see from the vaccine delay issues is going to become a serious issue, It should have never happen but Travel Cayman knew exactly what and who exactly they were allowing into this island and what the probably outcome would be.No surprise though because the behavior of certain ministers during this pandemic and disregard for their own people safety has been quite clear. I only hope our very blind and naive voters open their eyes in May 2021 just a little and see it for what it is!

    • Anonymous says:

      In the Brac we Caymanians in our 70’S went to get the Vaccine early last week, we got it but i had to speak up, because they was letting in visitors that came after us at the Clinic before let us in to get the Vaccine. So i had to speak up about it. Sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Trying to find any justification to open the borders before elections, so they can add that to their “list of accomplishments” to vote shop.

      They keep changing the goalposts, and don’t really care about locals much less our vulnerable people.

      Being a pay-your-way tourist, having any motley crew or HSA-Kingston connections are the only and most important qualifications necessary to skip the lines for your complimentary VIP vaccine treatment.

      Make sure the 30k severance is the last thing this motley crew of politicians take from the public purse.


  10. anon says:

    So much for the Premier’s undertaking that sufficient doses from the first batch would be held back to ensure everyone got their second dose after 3 weeks. What happens if the second batch doesn’t show up?.Look at all the missing doses in the U.S.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is exactly my sentiment. A bird in the hand is better than three in the bush. Give the ones who got their first shot the second shot. Is there any guarantee that the second batch will arrive before 29th January? No, I guess!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thirteen Israelis suffered facial nerve palsy after receiving the first dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, Yediot Ahronot reported.
    “According to the ministry, at least 13 people developed symptoms of paresis, but doctors in the health care system believe that the number of such cases is higher in practice,” the newspaper writes.

    CNS: The Times of Israel: Nearly 170,000 get 2nd COVID shot; initial study shows no major side effects

    Quote: The most serious reactions were 13 reported cases of Bell’s palsy, a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face. Three people reported a bitter metallic taste in the mouth, 2 people had breathing difficulties and one person fainted.

    As a result of the findings, the Israel Medical Association recommended to the Health Ministry that people who have suffered from Bell’s palsy after the first shot, should not receive the second dose of the vaccine, saying there was not enough information on the issue at the moment.

    Health officials said that they were not concerned about the side effects.

    “We are not worried by the side effects, they are minor and no different from what we see in other vaccines we know well,” said Dr. Erez Libel of the Clalit HMO.

    • Anonymous says:

      The FDA issued a staff report on December 17, 2000 that recommends monitoring people who take the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for potential cases of Bell’s palsy, or facial paralysis.

      The condition isn’t considered a side effect of the vaccines, the staff wrote, but they plan to track the data on vaccine recipients to spot any potential cases.

      The report said 4 of 30,000 participants in the Moderna clinical trial had Bell’s palsy, including 3 participants who received the vaccine instead of the placebo. Similarly, 4 out of 43,000 participants in the Pfizer clinical trial had Bell’s palsy, and all 4 received the vaccine.

      The paralysis occurred between 22 days and 32 days after the shot, the FDA staff said. Two of the Bell’s palsy cases in the Moderna trial have resolved. The staff has endorsed both of the COVID-19 vaccines and said there’s not enough data to show whether the cases were tied directly to the vaccines.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did anyone in Cayman experience side effects from the vaccine? It was briefly mentioned that 3-4 people got minor side effects when they vaccinated first 1,000 people, and no information since then.

      While some terrified of getting COVID, the others terrified of vaccines side effects.

      Pfizer vaccine fact sheet is silent on how a body eliminates other ingredients in the vaccine and if any of it crosses blood brain barrier. Healthy kidneys and liver, in theory, should eliminate toxic ingredients. But if some ingredients cleared by liver, for example, and blood flow to liver is reduced due to the underlying conditions (of which people might not be aware), then liver isn’t able to do its job properly, and it could cause all kind of problems.

      When people say they have side effects to many medications, vaccines or even supplements, they don’t know that their detoxification/elimination system could be compromised.

      This is from the “perioperative implications” for anesthesiologists: “ Blood flow to the liver can decrease as much as 30% with a change in posture [in some people]. Plasma levels of hepatically cleared drugs are largely dependent on blood pressure and posture. For instance, Lidocaine can cause toxicity and seizures if this phenomenon occurs. “

      This is why some people tolerate pretty much everything, have several procedures under general anesthesia, while others are not so lucky.

      Large group of people of all ages was vaccinated in Cayman. Isn’t it a requirement to document and report all side infects to the local Health authorities and to the vaccine Manufacturer?

      • I don’t trust it says:

        To 2:43: I am in no rush to get it.

      • Anonymous says:

        CDC has reported just over 3000 serious side effects as of last week but dont know who is providing feedback for this Stage 3, 2 year, world human trial or what the criteria has to meet or if Cayman is submitting such information.

        • Anonymous says:

          In the Brac my wife and I in our 70’s got the Vaccine and had a little pain at the spot where we got the shot for 2 or 3 days. And some friends experience the same, but it was not a major issue. I been all over the world as a seaman and had to get other Vaccines. Some of them did me worse than this vaccine

  12. Anonymous says:

    I get the thought process but they’re taking a big gamble with this new plan. If that next batch doesn’t arrive on the 28th, the people that got vaccines on the 8th (first day of vaccines for public) will miss the 21day mark for dose #2.

    • CPU says:

      Yes and this free for all for all their wealthy and connected friends will have been in vain and foolhardy. Wow its amazing they thought so little of our front line and essential people that they have put virus deniers anti lockdown and quarantine whiners who still traveling around the world trying to spreading this shit. Ahead of the very people they exposing on this island. WOW! Travel Cayman way to Go! A national Disgrace!

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you really think that some people wont be getting their second jab out of the first shipment?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hold on! Aren’t the UK stopping all flight corridors until the 15th February?

    CNS: Flight corridors, not flights. See here.

    • Anonymous says:

      That just means those travelling to the UK no longer get an exemption from having to quarantine. The flights are still on.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Have dates and times been announced for next week for 60+

    • Anonymous says:

      4:49 pm:
      This is the latest vaccination schedule on the HSA website:


      HSA: could you give your schedule a more prominent place on your site. You have to search for it.

      How about putting a big banner on your home page: “Covid Vaccination Schedule”

  15. Angus says:

    I am so blessed to live in Cayman.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I Don’t agree with the grouping which cayman has copied from countries with community spread. Since we don’t have community spread what does it matter who gets vaccinated first? We should let anyone who wants a vaccine get one with a view to getting everyone vaccinated as soon as possible. Especially caymanian students and those who have to travel for medical needs – basically anyone who NEEDS to leave the island should be able to get a vaccine.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree but the airport staff and hotel staff dealing with people in quarantine (+ everyone who works at the airport who seales with returning residents) + the front line health care workers should be no 1 priority, protect them to stop any spread from the +ve cases.
      Next should be anyone who needs to go off island for medical purposes + accompanying family. after that students at foreign schools and universities.
      We should then give vaccines to the rest of medical staff and supermarket workers. If we get a spread in cayman those services are the most important + associated distribution, port customs etc
      after that then the age order like the rest of the world, we are following what countries with mass community spread is doing, we are clear protect the borders and people dealing with them at all costs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree! We need to achieve herd immunity as fast as possible. The new variants are highly contagious and the faster we vaccinate everybody the better. Perhaps the HSA could pick out the elderly that show up and vaccinate them ahead of the younger people, every day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Community spread or not, it makes sense to protect the vulnerable first. Front line airport workers (and others) are exposed to arriving travelers and can then transmit it within the community. The ones that might do poorly are the old/ill.

      There is a worldwide situation of not enough vaccines to go around. The UK can stop sending at any time as they are in desperate need themselves. Our borders will eventually HAVE to open whether or not we get enough vaccines for everyone. In the event that our supply of vaccines is cut off before that, we need our old/ill to have whatever level of protection the vaccine provides.

      If a student does not have underlying health issues, there is ZERO reason to bump them up because they go to school overseas. If a student has health issues that increase their risk of having Covid, they’re already provided for in the scheduling!

      • Anonymous says:

        10:32 am: different categories have different levels of vulnerability, but we are all vulnerable.

        I don’t think the few departing Caymanian overseas students will place an insurmountable burden. They are flying into the Lions den of Covid. They will be away from their families.

        I think we can spare a few vaccines for them.

    • Naya Boy says:

      We have been successful by sticking by a set of rules and a plan and the word Essential covers those silly issues you are trying raise or use as and excuse. You are obviously very devious or stupid knowing the nightmarish scenarios occurring worldwide with those who are infected and dying. Our freedom is far more important than your good idea!

    • Anonymous says:

      How narcissistic can one be? What a jackass?

    • Anonymous says:

      Read: I’m mad I’m not first on the list and I want to travel and not have to quarantine when I get back.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well tough because the vaccine doesnt stop you getting or spreading the virus so you will still have to quarantine.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Now that the cat got out of the bag they are cracking down, or could also be that the privileged class/upper echelon friends/people have already been vaccinated?

    • Anonymous says:

      4:02 pm: I agree it is now a of the “cat out of the bag”.

      On the first day of roll out for seniors over 70 years, two young ladies who had to be at most 20-somethings were in the line. I asked them if they were there for testing. No, they said, they were there for the vaccine.

      I was in the same room with them for the administering of the vaccine. Not one word was asked—no discussion at all as to why they were there for vaccines at this unscheduled time.

      I think it is important that we maintain the schedule for the most vulnerable to serious side effects. The fact that all health service providers require mask-wearing indicates that there cannot be certainty that we are virus free.

      I do agree though that students preparing to fly to overseas schools should be allowed to be vaccinated but they should present proof of impending travel to an overseas educational institution.

      They and other vaccinated persons should bear in mind, however l, that they would still need to wear masks and take all other necessary precautions as would normally be required. The vaccine does not give 100 % immunity. The efficacy rate for Pfizer is 90 to 95%.

      • Say it like it is says:

        10.15am You are talking nonsense.That morning was also open to all private sector medical staff many of whom would be in their twenties. The problem was with the HSA no arrangements were made to check anyone’s credentials at least on the first day.

        • Anonymous says:

          4:37 pm: you articulated the concern of the poster exactly —no one was checking the credentials. So the criteria for vaccination became first come, first served.

          By the way, it is much more classy to just state your argument rather than label an opponent’s point.

          • Say it like it is says:

            8.37am It is much more classy not to accuse young ladies of abusing the system without evidence.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Stage 1, by what we all witnessed, is everyone

  19. Anonymous says:

    Does it matter if you receive a second dose of a different brand of vaccine?

    • Anonymous says:

      both doses need to be by same manufacturer

    • Anonymous says:

      yes it does as the oxfords vaccine works in a slightly diffrent way

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. That hasn’t been trialed or approved by regulators.

    • Anonymous says:

      2:56 pm: yes, from my limited knowledge I think it does matter that the second dose be for same vaccine as first.

      But I think the government will be continuing for now with Pfizer’s.

  20. Anonymous says:

    do we know what the population of cayman is? It seems there are a lot of people coming in these days

  21. Pfizer, yes? says:

    Would the public health officials please comment as to whether the vaccine shipment arriving on Jan. 28 will again be the Pfizer version? Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not much use for a 2nd dose if it’s not.

    • Anonymous says:

      yes it is

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, it is a confirmed shipment of Pfizer, which is why they are releasing everything in reserve.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pfizer has halted production of their vaccine, because of an error discovered in the original vaccine and the British government have told its people, they may have to wait up to 12 weeks for their second jab. What concerns me, is what vaccine are they sending to us, leftovers from the bad stock?

      • Say it like it is says:

        9.24am They halted production as their main factory in the E.U has closed for major enhancements to the production line to enable them to produce the vaccine in much greater numbers. Your reference to an “error” is poppycock!.However this could well have repercussions on future shipments to Cayman.

        • Anonymous says:

          Only stated what was reported in MSM UK. I guess not a reliable source. I imagine you have a close connect with Pfizer. I do apologise.

          • anon says:

            9.43am There have been numerous reports in the European press not the least because the E.U. are hopping mad that the main Pfizer factory has closed down. Go read for yourself and then you will see your belated apology is well justified.
            Please provide details of your “source”.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are writing nonsense. Pfizer are temporarily halting production to perform upgrades of equipment so they can increase output. Stop spreading untruths.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow and you people accuse us of wearing tin foil hats and being gullible.

          Yeah, in the middle of rolling out a vaccine thats has astrict administering schedule to be effective for a world pandemic, they put everything on hold to do some upgrades at A factory….youre clearly desensitized from believing that NRA need to do roadworks during rush hour!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Fake news! The vaccine is fine, they’re upgrading the factories so they can make more

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